How Cashews are harvested – Cashew nuts are a nutritious, filling, and fully natural snack option. But from whence do they come? Cashew nuts are the fruit of the cashew tree, an alien species that is now found in many parts of the globe but that originated in Brazil, India, and Southeast Asia, where the tree can grow and flourish in tropical temperatures.
Cashew production starts with the cashew tree (anacardium occidentale), which produces the cashew apple, which is linked to the branch, and the cashew seed, which is attached to the apple. Cashew production continues with the cashew fruit, which is attached to the branch. The cashew apple is classified botanically as an accessory fruit (also known as a fake fruit), which differs from actual fruit in that it is not generated by the plant’s ovaries. It has a reddish or yellow color and is almost three times the size of cashew shells.
In the Philippines, the cashew apple is picked and then utilized by the people to produce jams, curries, and fruit juices. While the cashew apple is edible and has a unique sweet flavor, it has a delicate peel that makes it exceedingly perishable and difficult to transport. As a result, the cashew sector is primarily concerned with the seeds of the tree, often known as cashew nuts.
What is the growth cycle of cashew nuts?
Both the cashew apple and the cashew nut shell are completely formed during the dry season, when the cashew apple is linked to the bottom of the cashew nut shell. It is customary to twist and extract cashew nuts from apples by hand during the harvesting process. If the nuts are overripe, they will separate from the tree and fall to the ground.
The cashew’s edible flesh is enclosed by a thick shell that contains anacardic acid, a very poisonous and potentially life-threatening chemical. Using a high-temperature oven to roast cashews eliminates this chemical and causes the shells to split apart, allowing the edible nut to be accessed. The next step is to remove the shells and gather the cream-colored, kidney-shaped nuts that we are all familiar with.
Who knew there was such a fascinating backstory behind the super-easy cashew nuts that are so readily available to us today?
Have you tried cashews that have been activated? In addition to the maple and rosemary flavored ones, we now offer a snacking portion (30g) as part of the Nutmad healthy snack box. If you prefer unflavored cashews, you may find them in our active Nut Mix, which is quite tasty.
How Cashews are Harvested?
Cashews are an unusual nut in terms of their flavor and texture. Cashew trees, which grow in the tropics, blossom and produce fruit in the winter or dry season, resulting in a nut that is much more than a nut and must be handled with care. Continue reading to discover how to harvest cashews.
When cashew nuts develop, they seem to be sprouting out of the bottom of a large inflated fruit, which is called a drupe. The fruit, known as a cashew apple, is really the inflated end of the stem immediately above the cashew nut, rather than a fruit at all. Each apple is coupled with a single nut, creating an unusual visual impact.
In the winter or during the dry season, apples and nuts will begin to develop. It is possible to harvest cashews around two months after the fruit has set, when the apple has taken on a pink or crimson hue and the nut has become gray. As an alternative, you may wait until the fruit has fallen to the ground to determine whether it is ripe.
After harvesting, remove the nuts from the apples by twisting them by hand. Set the nuts aside; they can be kept for up to two years if kept in a cold, dry area. The apples are juicy and delicious, and they may be eaten right away.
How to Harvest Cashews in a Safe and Effectively
After harvesting cashew nuts, you may wish to keep them in storage until you have a large enough quantity to process them. This is because processing cashew nuts is a time-consuming endeavor. The cashew’s edible flesh is enclosed by a shell and a very toxic, caustic liquid that is similar to poison ivy.
When processing your cashews, exercise caution. Keep the liquid from getting on your skin or into your eyes by dressing in long-sleeved clothes, gloves, and safety eye-wear.
Never break open a nut that hasn’t been treated. To prepare the nuts, roast them on the outside of the oven (never inside, where the fumes can build up and be breathed in). Put the nuts in an old or disposable pan and set it aside (now your designated cashew pan, as it may never get fully clean of the dangerous cashew oils).
Either cover the pan with a lid or fill the pan with sand until the nuts are completely covered—the nuts will spit liquid as they heat up, and you want something to collect or absorb it.
Roast the nuts for 10 to 20 minutes at 350 to 400 degrees F (230-260 degrees C). After roasting, wash the nuts with soap and water (while wearing gloves!) to remove any remaining oil from their surfaces. Open the nut to discover the meat hidden within. Prior to serving, roast the meat in coconut oil for five minutes on each side.